Weekly Roundup 19-Nov-2021 – Greater Auckland

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Header image via Braked.

Kia Ora. I hope everyone is doing well ! Here’s our roundup of the week’s exciting news and discoveries.


The week in Greater Auckland

  • Monday’s post, by Matt, followed several in-depth Light Rail analyzes over the past two weeks and looked at the lessons we can find in past rapid transit plans.
  • On Tuesday, Matt covered a very low yield parking lot that AT is asking the developer of a site in Ponsonby to provide.
  • Wednesday’s post was a great guest post by TUE Senior Professor Dr Timothy Welch shattering common myths about self-centricity
  • Yesterday we published an article about AT’s recent installation of T3 camera poles right in the middle of local trails.

Te Huia now serves central Auckland

In very good news, Te Huia will connect to The Strand in Auckland Central on weekdays.

The next stage of the improvements will include stops at the new Puhinui Station, providing access to Auckland Airport, before stopping at Strand Station.

Transport Minister Michael Wood praised the extension of the service.

“We have always indicated that incremental improvements will be made to the Te Huia service once it is operational, and I am truly delighted that we are able to deliver this significant improvement in the first year.

Source: tehuiatrain.co.nz

Auckland rail network summer closure

One good thing to note – there will be an extended shutdown of the Auckland rail network over Christmas and January, reported here in The Herald. The work is part of a vast program to upgrade the entire network.

“The Christmas closure allows us to do a tremendous amount of work in a short period of time. Our projects would take years longer to complete without the opportunity to make great strides during intermittent downtime, so we thank Aucklanders for their understanding.

“It will take a few years but, when completed, the network will allow more frequent and reliable rail services for Auckland Transport passenger trains and greater capacity for freight trains,” Gordon said.


Auckland city center ‘optimism’

here is a article and short clip on Auckland Council’s ‘Our Auckland’ platform on the progress of the city center and the realization of the City Center Masterplan. The opening of exciting new projects like Te Kōmititanga, Commercial Bay, Quay Street and Te Wānanga (adjoining the downtown ferry terminal) certainly proves that downtown can be something really special.

We look forward to seeing more momentum in the transformation of Queen Street, which will hopefully be complemented by the implementation of Access for all. We can’t wait for the City Rail Link to be almost complete, it will be interesting to see how this project catalyzes the changes in the city center as shown in the clip.

Downtown Ferry Terminal – Te Wānanga Public Space. Source: Our Auckland

Flood week

Welsh village victim of rising sea levels

In a story that could set a precedent for some of New Zealand’s many coastal communities, Reports from the Welsh village of Fairbourne which has been designated as unsustainable due to climate change.

Predicting faster sea level rise and more frequent and extreme storms due to global warming, the government said it could only afford to continue defending the village for 40 years. Officials said that by 2054 it would no longer be safe or sustainable to live in Fairbourne.

Bernard Hickey’s podcast When the facts change had an episode (November 5) that looked at the effects of climate change on house prices in New Zealand. There are tough calls ahead for local and central governments as insurers begin to pull back from properties and assets most at risk from climate change and its effects.

Severe flooding in the Pacific Northwest

As reported in The Guardian, northwestern Canada and the United States were hit by a month of rain in two days, causing widespread flooding and landslides. With roads washed out or buried, many cities are without road access, including Vancouver, the largest city in British Columbia.


Designing the perfect New York street

If you like to imagine a #roaddiet as you weave your way through crowded streets with traffic, you’ll love this article and beautiful visuals at Curbed about a perfect street imagined in New York. Curbed editors tasked a team of designers to reinvent a section of Third Avenue in Manhattan “as a matrix of overlapping and interdependent networks.”

We aspired to bring together all the measures we already knew we had to take in a living environment. An aerial photograph has become a platform on which to superimpose a possible future city. The result is real life I spy book, filled with details that accumulate in a livable, fair, safer and more liveable place. It’s not a futuristic fantasy of self-sweeping sidewalks or robot-controlled Tesla taxis that glide with the touch of an app. Instead, we envisioned a makeover that could happen right now, given the urgency and determination.

Head to the article on Curbed to see the before-after of this intersection in GIF form.

The week in bollard news

But are there too many limits?


First fully automatic train in Germany

Less width, tighter turns …

These are just a few of the benefits of this fully electric fire truck. Fire and emergency vehicles are often among the voices most affected when roads are narrowed or adapted to make them safer. It sounds like a great solution.


The corner of good ideas

A #crafternoon task for bored children in confinement?


Paris by bike

We cannot get enough of the transformation of Paris under the bicycle-friendly mayoress Anne Hidalgo. This explainer on the Substack Citybits blog does an excellent job of describing the context of the transformation of Paris, how the Covid-19 pandemic was a catalyst and why the momentum for change has continued. It’s so important to understand:

In an interview with the New York Times, a French commuter noted that he bought a bicycle immediately after the blockages ended, and while a little suspicious, he felt that “Having so many cycle paths motivates me more (to cycle). “

Take a look at this dreamy snapshot:

In the last month the 2021 – 26 Cycling Plan has been announced, with the bold ambition to capitalize on the cycling transformation catalyzed by Covid-19 and make Paris “a 100% cycling city” by 2026. We can’t wait to see how these plans evolve and we wonder if we will see the story of the 100% cycling city replicated in the same way as Paris popularized the city concept in 15 minutes.


We have to imagine how good things can be

Finally, some long readings for your weekend.

The Dominion Post ran a fantastic series of essays entitled “Reimagining Wellington”. There are plenty of good ones in there. A recent highlight features New York City Kiwi urban designer Skye Duncan on how to overcome the paralysis of change and make Wellington a more livable city.

“Good cities to live are places where people can learn, work, hang out and play so that they have safe, reliable and affordable choices about how they get around and what they do on a regular basis,” says -she.

This means access to key destinations and essential services: housing, school, daycare, work restaurants, supermarkets and health services. As well as artistic and cultural opportunities.

People should also be exposed to nature, social connections and have access to daily inspiration, joy and love. “All the things we don’t usually associate with cities and built environments. “

In order to achieve these goals, Wellington must first face some of the challenges it faces.

This means getting the right mix of housing density, while preserving good historic buildings; harness the power of public-private partnerships; removing passenger cars from the roads; and treat public transit as a public good.

Existential creativity

On this theme, this essay by novelist Ben Okri responds beautifully to the art’s need to create a new ‘existential realism’ to help us face the challenges ahead of the climate crisis:

A new existentialism is therefore needed. Not the existentialism of Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre, of negative and stoic spirit, but a courageous and visionary existentialism, where as artists we devote our lives to nothing less than re-dreaming society. We must be big dreamers. We must ask ourselves unthinkable questions. We have to get to the roots of what makes us such a all-consuming, overly competitive, conquest-driven, hierarchical species.


Have a safe and wonderful weekend. Wear a mask, scan, wash your hands

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